Title: Design for Manufacturing: Laminate Focused Design and Analysis Tools for Automated Composites Manufacturing
Authors: Jeron Moore, André Colvin, Sayata Ghose, and Brice Johnson
Abstract: The NASA Advanced Composites Project (ACP) was formed to create new and innovative solutions for reducing the timeline for developing and certifying state-of-the-art composite structures and materials. Under the ACP, the manufacturing tasks focus on reducing the occurrence of defects during Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and helping close the design-analysis-manufacturing loop through Design for Manufacturing (DFM). One goal of this task is to leverage and enhance commercial off-the-shelf AFP path simulation software (PSS) by creating a link to the digital design process and establishing a feedback loop for composite designers. The implementation of these enhancement criteria targets two main categories – analysis tools and improvements to the path generation algorithms. To improve the manufacturing process, there must be a transition in the mindset behind programming a composite part from the traditional ply-by-ply approach to a laminate-focused strategy. Having a clear understanding of the precise defect placement through the thickness of a laminate can lead to a reduction in the required strength margins and potential optimization of the strength and weight of the final part. Additionally, a better understanding of the stack-up of defects through the thickness of the part, and the optimization of their placement can lead to improved surface quality that can be critical for bonded or fastened surfaces. For this task, CGTech’s VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) was selected through this consortium as the AFP PSS of choice to support the DFM methodology. The results of this development have included the creation of several path and defect analysis, automation, and export routines, ply- and laminate-level analysis reports, and the formation of the Laminate Manager (LM), a powerful tool for visualizing, programming, and analyzing a composite laminate through a single interface. The LM has facilitated a broader transformation in the overall approach to programming a composite part by transitioning to a laminate-based focus and allowing a programmer/designer to visualize, analyze, and generate each ply based on its interactions with the rest of the laminate. This transformation in approach can have a tremendous impact on the future of automated composite manufacturing by not only improving the overall quality of composite parts but also significantly streamlining the development cycle, reaching optimal designs in a shorter and more efficient timeframe.
Conference: SAMPE 2019 - Charlotte, NC
Publication Date: 2019/05/20
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